As part of a strategy to open up Māori land in the King Country for sale, Premier Richard Seddon appointed King Mahuta to Parliament's Legislative Council in 1903. This photograph shows Mahuta, standing at right, with (from left) Western Māori MP Hēnare Kaihau, Seddon and Native Affairs Minister James Carroll. Mahuta's lack of English made it difficult for him to contribute to legislation and he grew disillusioned with the government's stated intention to improve conditions for Māori. He made no speeches in the House for the last three years of his term.
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